The Junction Commons Project
In 2011, the Toronto Police Service Division 11 moved from its former location at 209 Mavety Street to a new facility located on Davenport Road, leaving the former space unoccupied. This two-story building is approximately 60 years old and 25, 000 square feet.
Statement of Purpose
We residents of the Junction neighbourhood want to create an opportunity for public discussion about the future of the former Division 11 building. We would like to work with other interested members of the public to develop a plan for this site, converting this building into a community space that provides area residents a place to meet, work, play and participate in various community activities. Our model will be built on the principles of social justice, inclusivity and sharing, ensuring that all residents have a voice and work together to strengthen our community.
To create a sustainable, community-based, inclusive space for Junction residents to come together.
We would like to see:
- A space where people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds can come together to participate in activities and have the opportunity to learn from each other, share stories and experiences, and build relationships
- A multi-functional space that fosters the arts and provides community members with the opportunity to participate in art projects, including visual arts, storytelling, performance arts and theatre, music and dance
- Programs that foster communication skills, listening skills, and a love of learning, including literacy tutoring and peer mentorship
- Community members coming together to share a meal in a Community Kitchen and discuss nutrition or sustainable food projects
- A community garden, a local plants and seeds exchange program, and a green roof project
- A place for the Junction Farmer’s Market
- Community members have access to health-promotion activities and learn more about physical well-being by participating in walking clubs, tai chi, or classes in an exercise room; a place for counseling and harm reduction
- Programs for people vulnerable to marginalization and violence, including the elderly, children and teenagers
- A space where local community-based organizations, such as Green 13 and Project Neutral, can host events and provide presentations on energy audits, home retrofit programs, and the emerald ash borer, among others
Key to the success of such an initiative is the identification of a business model that ensures this reconfigured space is sustainable moving forward. We envision sustaining this project through both community-based and government funding models. We look to other successful initiatives in the City of Toronto, including the Centre for Social Innovation, Wychwood Barns, STOP, West End Food Co-Op, Evergreen Brick Works, PARC, and Masaryk-Cowan, as models for the kind of space we would like to create.
This building is currently on list for recommendation for sale by the city to private interests. and it is advised that the following actions are taken:
- Review the floor plans and recent building assessments to better understand the condition of the space
- Review the potential legal basis for our claim to a public discussion of this space
- Review relevant zoning laws that will inform the development of a proposal
- Research funding options to inform the development of a proposal
- Develop a comprehensive business plan and proposal for the space
- Write letters and draft a community petition showing support from local residents and businesses
- Engage local city councillors and other political support for this initiative
- Develop a logo, branding and a slogan for the space